Protection mechanisms in the framework

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Protection mechanisms in the framework

Protection mechanisms in the framework

To protect consumers’ rights and interests, the Albanian state has undertaken special initiatives and mechanisms. The establishment of the Consumer Association, a civil society organization independent of manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, or service providers. The Consumer Protection Association is represented on behalf of its members and acts in all consumers’ interests. Through its representative, it gives opinions on the proposed legal actions that may impact consumers, participates in meetings that are on the part of the consumer, mediates between central bodies and consumers, and between traders and consumers to protect the interests of the latter.

This association informs consumers about their rights and presents the list of traders who have harmed consumers or deliberately sold goods dangerous to the health and safety of consumers during the past years. For any violated right, the consumer or the consumer protection association can complain to the competent administrative bodies charged by law for consumer protection, such as AKU.

Manufacturers and service providers need to bring safe goods and services to market. Safe goods and services are considered goods and services that meet local standards, European standards set out in International Conventions, and legitimate consumer safety requirements. Special laws dealing with this framework will establish rules and regulations relating to safety and health standards and conditions, which the good or service must meet before entering the market.

Another protection mechanism created by state structures in this regard is the Consumer Protection Agency, which is based on the protection of certain consumer rights and aims to increase the interaction and effectiveness of work to meet the objectives planned through monitoring and evaluation of some of the most critical areas directly related to life activity such as:

– It aims for consumers to be better informed and self-determining to possess relevant knowledge on their rights about the market and the provision of public services.

It also aims to monitor, control urban territory, and protect from illegal interference, pollution, and violations, which are defined as administrative violations in support of legal provisions.
– Monitoring the quality of public transport means of transportation available from companies that provide this service.
– Evidence and monitoring of the occupation of public spaces from inert and hazardous waste dumps.
– Control of community services and tracking of Municipality projects related to community services
– Training and certification of operators that provide public food service in bars, restaurants, and hotels.

Problems encountered during consumer protection in Albania.

Consumers are being supplied in their national markets with imported products or services, bypassing the domestic need or import;
– New technologies such as the Internet allow consumers to enter into transactions with a foreign company or trader, exposing them to the risk of not knowing their true intentions;
E Significant lack of information including inappropriate price notes;
Incomplete supply of goods;
– Lack of instructions and notifications, labels are written in foreign languages; Terms of contracts are not announced; Warranty terms and customer indemnification procedures are missing. Market surveillance bodies do not have adequate human and financial resources to fulfill their tasks.

One of the most problematic cases, recently found in Albania, was when the National Food Authority took immediate measures regarding the rebuke from the investigative show “Fiks Fare” on Top Channel, where it was alleged that in a slaughterhouse in Tirana was introduced a dead animal, which was then slaughtered and traded to the consumer.

The General Director of AKU, the Regional Directorate of Tirana, inspected the subject “Ylli Koldashi,” with slaughter activity located at Kamza Bridge, near the Agricultural University of Tirana, where the investigative show was filmed. The measure of blocking the exercise of this subject was immediately taken, where 90 kilograms of beef, sheep, and lamb were seized, all without the stamp of the official veterinarian; the traceability register was taken for verification by AKU, as proposed to the Minister of Agriculture, revocation of the subject license. Meanwhile, AKU brought for criminal prosecution the subject, i.e., its administrator and technical director, while the administrative measure of the fine for 1.3 million ALL was taken.

Despite the claims of the subject’s representatives that different animal is brought to related slaughterhouses. For various reasons and saying that it can not happen that dead animals are brought in and slaughtered, AKU took the blocking measure and verified the traceability register of animals.

The responsibility for such a flagrant case falls directly on the subject and its technical director, the slaughterhouse’s veterinarian. According to law no. 9863, dated 28.01.2008 “On Food,” Chapter XVI “Administrative Offenses,” Item 3, states that, in cases where food has been placed on the market, which has been proven to have caused harm to human health, or when may pose a potential risk to his life, according to the provisions of this law, against the food business operator, the measure of the proposal for revocation of the respective license for exercising the activity is taken”.

Given this risk and violation of the law “On Food”, which specifies that the Food Business Operator is the first to guarantee food safety, not only is the Minister required to revoke the license, but AKU takes the matter to the prosecutor’s office, criminalized the administrator and technical director of the slaughterhouse “Ylli Koldashi.”

The production and trade of goods and services are global in scope, and globalization makes it difficult to detect the entry of unsafe products into the EU. Therefore, consumer policy must help citizens adapt to this new reality. Global consumption and the market need a trial network and a responsible one where there is trust in the goods and for partners for a more trusted trade with a sustainable culture and consumption and culture in Europe.

This policy can not be avoided even by our country, which must admit that there is still work to improve the conditions and circumstances of providing customer service through the relevant entities. What remains to be emphasized is that first, all product delivery facilities must be stabilized and regulated, aligning them with EU standards, with a clean environment and quality goods. Also, control over consumer providers should be more frequent at the national level, penalizing all entities directly affecting consumers through uncontrolled services.

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